On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Highlands College was granted initial accreditation by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) Commission on Accreditation through a unanimous vote. In addition to this benchmark in higher education, the commission had no recommendations or actions for Highlands College for improvement.
Initial accreditation allows the current associate degrees awarded by the private biblical higher education institution to be accredited. The five-year strategic plan of the college, released in 2021, calls for growth to an accredited four-year program with approval to offer a bachelor’s degree where students have the potential to graduate without college debt through a generous scholarship program.
President Mark Pettus shared, “We are incredibly grateful and blessed to celebrate this milestone for our college and our students. We cannot celebrate this moment without honoring those who have laid the foundation for Highlands College and invested in its mission and vision. It is an honor to equip the rising generation of leaders with an education that equips them to make an impact around the world and leave a legacy through their leadership.”
In the Fall of 2020, incoming traditional Highlands College students began the course of study to fulfill the requirements of an associate degree. This May, traditional graduates will be the first to be awarded an accredited degree from Highlands College. The practical application and experience combined with the general academic studies they receive from Highlands College equips them for full-time vocational ministry in every area of a Christian organization.
The appointment was celebrated by Highlands College Board of Directors, staff, and students after seven years of close collaboration and continuous review by the ABHE. The accreditation process typically takes ten years to complete, and Highlands College’s faculty and staff dedicated themselves to meeting the requirements and timelines set by ABHE’s commission and review board.
The ABHE Commission on Accreditation is one of only four recognized national, faith-related accrediting agencies which focuses on offering certificates, diplomas, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees preparing students for Christian ministries through Biblical, church-vocational, and general studies.